March 2019 Direct From CDC/Environmental Health Services
March 2019 Journal of Environmental Health (Volume 81, Number 7)
Editor's Note: NEHA strives to provide up-to-date and relevant information on environmental health and to build partnerships in the profession. In pursuit of these goals, we feature a column on environmental health services from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in every issue of the Journal.
In these columns, authors from CDC's Water, Food, and Environmental Health Services Branch, as well as guest authors, will share insights and information about environmental health programs, trends, issues, and resources. The conclusions of these columns are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position of CDC.
Tick Talk: Keeping Environmental Health Up With Current Trends
Christine Vanover, MPH, REHS, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Andrew Ruiz, MSPH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Tickborne diseases are on the rise in the U.S. Recent studies show that the number of reported cases of tickborne disease doubled from 22,527 cases in 2004 to 48,610 cases in 2016. Current tickborne disease control strategies heavily rely on personal protective behaviors at the individual and household level, which poses a challenge for environmental health professionals who are often called upon to address tickborne disease concerns in their communities. Approximately half of all state and local health departments provide vector control services that are commonly under the purview of environmental health programs. While vector control might be a priority for many health departments, there is a need to strengthen and build vector control capacity.
This month’s column highlights two federal initiatives that could enhance vector control services in the U.S.: the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group and the establishment of Regional Centers of Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases. Furthermore, the 10 Essential Environmental Public Health Services can provide a framework that can be used to encourage a comprehensive and programmatic approach to providing tick control services and building capacity. Finally, the column provides information about several Centers for Disease Control and Prevention resources and tools that environmental health professionals can leverage to enhance their knowledge of vectors and control strategies, as well as strengthen their vector control programs.